Get to know our editor—and our new podcast
What does it mean to do good? Where can we discover joy? What is it really like to be homeless? How can I raise a kind kid?
These are the exact questions The Do Gooders Podcast asks. It’s a show dedicated to helping you do good right where you are.
Each week, Caring magazine editor and show host Christin Thieme interviews a new guest on ideas to make an impact. If you want to be inspired and find tangible tips for simple actions you can take for good, this is the podcast for you.
We sat down with Thieme for more about her and the new show.
How did you get involved in The Salvation Army and what do you love about it?
I first met The Salvation Army at age four, when my grandpa would pick me up to take me with him to church. Eventually, my whole family joined and I grew up attending church at The Salvation Army. Lucky for me, it was so much more than your average neighborhood church—The Salvation Army is an international organization known for doing good the world over.
Through The Salvation Army, I’ve been introduced to new places and people and experienced life in so many different places. I spent each summer during college volunteering, doing everything from leading English camps for kids in Hong Kong to hosting World Cup viewing parties for the community in Berlin. I later became a communications intern and have been part of the fight for good ever since. I love that The Salvation Army meets basic human needs and also the need to belong in different ways in every community. We’re present in every zip code in America, but that presence looks a bit different in each place—because each place is a bit different from the next. Yet, still, The Salvation Army is there and is spreading good.
Has becoming a mom shaped your views on the world?
Yes, I have a one-year-old little guy at home, who honestly has given me a whole new, deeper purpose in life. It’s so much work to be a mom, and you hear people say it all the time, but there really is no way to describe how it feels to kiss your baby. It’s a joy I couldn’t have understood before. And I think in many ways it has softened my view of the world. I see news stories and all I can think is, “That person is some mom’s child.” Not everyone has parents like I did, but at least for me, motherhood is a chance to shape a new story. And I want to make sure it’s a good one.
As you know, the podcast’s tagline is “Good starts with you.” What are your favorite ways to do good, despite being busy?
Everyone knows the “This Little Light of Mine” Sunday school rhyme, and I think it holds truth for each of us, no matter our age. We can let our light shine. We can wake up each day and “carry our own weather.” We can choose to bring the sunshine, to let “our light” shine in a way that helps others see their way out of darkness. So first, yes, I try to be a light, to add fun and hospitality and a kind word whenever I can.
I love to “surprise and delight” people—which can mean something as simple as sending an unexpected, cheerful note. I heard it said once that we don’t know what the people we encounter throughout the day are going through, and I try my best to think about it this way. Maybe the hurried person who was a bit rude at the grocery store was grabbing something and on their way back to the hospital to be with a sick family member. Maybe the person who cut you off just lost his job and is thinking about how he’s going to feed his kids next month. We truly don’t know. And so my favorite way to try to do good is simply to be aware of my own attitude and how I show up in the world. I want it to be with light.
Why did you start The Do Gooders Podcast?
I’ve long loved interviewing people with incredible stories to tell, and I think there’s something powerful about hearing it directly from them. So this podcast is a new way for us to share the stories of people who are doing good and who have good ideas with those who care about bettering the world around them. We all have a mile-long to-do list, but “doing good” doesn’t have to require radical commitment. There are so many simple, tangible things we all can do to make an impact right where we are and my goal is to highlight as many of these as we can with this new podcast. At the end of each episode, I want a listener to have a specific action they can take to make some small impact on an issue we all face.
What inspires you to do good? Are there any quotes or words of wisdom that always stick with you?
I have a long list of words that inspire me saved in Trello and I share a lot of my favorites on Instagram, but I think Psalm 37:3 is foundational: Trust in the Lord and do good. In our first episode, The Salvation Army USA National Commander Commissioner Dave Hudson talks about seeing a person starting to drown in the water. As he said, we don’t stop to ask them how they got there or what they could have done differently to avoid being in that situation. We get in the water and help them out. I love that perspective—we don’t ask questions, we simply help. It’s how The Salvation Army operates and I think it’s also a good approach on an individual level, too. We all have the ability to make an impact. We can choose to get in the water. We can choose to bring the sunshine.
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- Subscribe to The Do Gooders Podcast with Christin Thieme to be inspired by those doing good and find tangible tips for simple actions you can take today.
- Visit westernusa.salvationarmy.org to find The Salvation Army nearest you.
- Give to support the fight for good in your community.
- Join in the free Find Your Story course today and dive into the email workshop to find your voice, own your story and share it with others.